How To Clean A Roof (For Beginners)

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How To Clean A Roof (For Beginners)

What structure doesn’t have a roof? A home, an office, a building, they all have a roof! Every structure you see has a roof!

There’s a ton of benefits of having it, like protect you from the heat and serve a great design addition. Asphalt shingle roofs are no different!

But, through time, asphalt shingle roofs need to be maintained. Why? It keeps them looking their best all the time! Not just that, but cleaning the roof regularly also helps maintain its quality and even more so, their life span.

Whether you have a single asphalt roof or not, we’re here to guide you to clean your roof. What are you waiting for? Keep reading, and let’s get cleaning.

Importance of Cleaning Roofs

Cleaning a roof doesn’t sound like an appealing idea. It’s labor-intensive and very tiring! Whew!

You’ll need to prepare all the materials, and even yourself for a tiring day ahead of you. Well, we’d rather that you go through that now, than suffer more later.

Clean your roof now! Asphalt shingle roofs go through a lot of wear and tear, mainly because of the weather!

You’ll need to watch out for the typical moss growth, and get rid of them. Why? If you let them spread on your roof, it will thicken and degrade your roof’s quality. They’ll keep coming back! You don’t want that.

Not just that, but the moss will allow other debris to build upon your roof.

It will attract debris and promote water build-up. The result? An unnecessary leak is waiting to happen and damage your home. That alone sounds bad. It will rot your roof and its tiles, lowering its lifespan!

With an asphalt shingle roof installed, you should also watch out for black algae, green algae, algae stains, and more! They’re very common to build-up on an asphalt shingle roof, especially if you don’t clean your roof.

That being said, roof cleaning is an important job you need to do. It protects your roof; algae stains are eliminated and extend the lifespan of your roof.

Steps to Cleaning Asphalt Shingles

Are you ready to clean your roof? Here are a few easy steps that will help you get started.

Step 1: Safety First

Safety is always an urgent priority, and it should also be yours! There’s a ton of protective equipment you can find today, to protect you against any dirt and harmful substances.

Before you get started with roof cleaning, look at the sky. Is it too sunny, or is it cloudy? Well, a cloudy day is an ideal working condition for you. Not too hot nor cold!

So, what safety materials do you need? We recommend using slip-resistant shoes. You don’t want to slip from your roof while you are cleaning!

Next, use safety goggles to keep debris out of your eyes. Expect a lot of junk on your roof and the possibility that the wind might suddenly blow on your eye.

Use thick gloves. You’ll be handling a lot of chemicals like sodium hypochlorite, and you don’t want to touch them directly. Make sure also to wear a long sleeves shirt and pants to protect yourself against these harsh chemicals.

If you have a slanted roof, we recommend that you use a safety rope to tie yourself to the chimney. If not, you can use a safety point where you can connect the cord. This is a necessary step so that you won’t fall on the ground in case you slip.

Finally, before you decide to clean your roof, let someone know. If something goes wrong, like getting into an accident, at least someone knows, and they can quickly know of your whereabouts.

Step 2: Remove Unnecessary Debris

Once you get to your roof, inspect it. Is there any unnecessary debris in the area? If so, remove it!

Before you even think of using cleaning agents already, have in hand your trusted leaf blower or sweep to clear the area.

This is an essential step for roof cleaning! It’s easier to clean your roof in the long run, without this unnecessary dirt! More importantly, you won’t have any reason to slip from the debris.

Don’t forget to cover your shrubs or anything where you think the debris may land. You wouldn’t want to end up with any damaged shrubs, would you?

Step 3: Prepare Your Cleaning Materials

There are specific ways and requirements for you to clean asphalt shingles, and no, it’s not just soap and water.

Instead, you’ll need to use specific types of chemicals like sodium hypochlorite, to get rid of algae stains and other dirt your roof may have.

Whatever the case, never use a harsh chemical! That’s strictly forbidden because it could potentially depreciate the lifespan of your roof.

As a general rule, make sure to use products recommended and safe for asphalt shingles.

If you don’t want any of the commercial cleaners in the market, you can make your own as an alternative! It’s easy because all you’ll need is equal parts of water and laundry-strength chlorine bleach. You’re good to go!

Step 4: Put Your Solution on the Garden Sprayer

If you’re looking for the best results, start by mixing your chemical solution with a gallon of water, and a quart of chlorine bleach.

Mix them well and place them in your container. You can even use a pump-style garden hose sprayer to get the job done fast.

You’re given a lot of leeway in terms of where you want to pour your cleaning agent.

As long as it’s a low-pressure sprayer, it’s all good. But, never pour your solution and use a pressure washer! You’ll damage your asphalt shingle in the end!

Step 5: Apply the Cleaning Solution on Your Roof

It’s time to get to your roof and spray everything down. Spray every asphalt shingle you want to clean, especially those that already have a lot of algae.

Point the nozzle of your spray, depress the handle and go! Be thorough and get rid of those nasty black streaks.

There’s no absolute rule on how much cleaning solution you need. It usually depends on how dirty your asphalt shingle is, how much algae has grown, and more.

So the more asphalt shingle you need to clean, the more solution you need to prepare.

Once you’re done spraying your roof down, let the solution sit for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 6: Rinse Your Roof

Once the time is up, use a water garden hose to rinse all the solution you applied. Remove all the bleach and be thorough with this step.

Step 7: Scrub Out any Stubborn Algae

In some cases, you can’t help but still find a thick growth of moss, algae, gloeocapsa magma, among others on your roof.

If you still see black streaks or stubborn algae on your roof, scrub it down until it goes away. You’ll need a medium-bristled brush or broom to loosen and get rid of them.

Don’t apply too much pressure, or you’ll scratch your roof.

If you still can’t remove them even after scrubbing the surface, wait for your roof to dry and repeat Steps 5 and 6. Hopefully, on the second round, you’ve already gotten rid of any gloeocapsa magma or algae growth.

Tips and Tricks to Maintain Your Clean Roof

Besides roof cleaning, there are other ways for you to maintain and prolong the lifespan of your roofs.

1. Trim any protruding branches

Sometimes you can’t help it when trees grow towards your property. You’ll be surprised one day to come home and find a branch of your neighbor’s tree on your roof! Oh no! The branch might fall on your roof and damage it.

Luckily, you can prevent this by trimming the branches. It’s easy, and it won’t take long!

2. Clean your roof of any debris

As a general rule, you want your roof to be exposed to sunlight as much as possible. Why? Moss and algae are less likely to grow and accumulate in your area! Remember, algae growth also allows debris to build up in time.

If you don’t want to encounter this problem repeatedly, we recommend roof cleaning regularly. You can use a leaf blower or garden sprayer to clear the area!

3. Install zinc or copper-coated sheet metal

Alternatively, you can also install a sheet of zinc or copper-coated sheet metal on your asphalt shingle roof.

Moss and algae are less likely to develop and grow because copper is toxic to them. So it’s a great and natural way of getting rid of them!

4. Spray Anti-Moss Biocide

If you don’t want to install copper sheet metal on your roof, we recommend spraying anti-moss biocide instead.

You’ve probably scrubbed your roof clean after all the hard work you’ve done, but did you kill the spores? Water and bleach might not be the solution to get them out of your roof.

If you don’t want them to go back and grow anymore, use an anti-moss biocide. It kills the growth so you won’t expect to find them anymore.

Should You Hire a Professional?

The answer depends on you. Maybe you can’t get up on your roof anymore to clean it. Or you don’t have any time.

Well, if you’re facing any problem, a professional roof cleaning service is your next best choice.

Luckily, there’s a ton of roof cleaning services today. You won’t have a difficult time looking for them. But, the only thing you’ll need to watch out for is their price. They don’t come cheap!

Sure they’re using the standard bleach and water, but you’re also paying them for their services! Well, that’s the trade-off. You won’t tire yourself, but you’ll need to spend some bucks to clean your roof.

Nevertheless, always pick someone reliable. Reputable cleaning roof services are everywhere. Ask your friends and family; they might have someone to recommend.

Final Words

Your roof is one of the most important structures of your house, offices, and more. And it’s sad that often, it’s one of the most forgotten parts of a structure.

Without the roof, we’re all exposed to different kinds of things! The heat, rain, and more!

We hope you learned how to clean your roof today. Who knew water and bleach could do the trick?

If you enjoyed our article, feel free to leave a comment below. We’d love to know your experience and how we were able to help you.

Don’t forget to also share this article with your friends! Who knows, their roof might also need some cleaning.

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